The fabulous fashion and fitness blogger shares the story behind her blog and how fitness became part of her life
Combining fitness and fashion, Lydia Elise Millen is a Get The Gloss go-to for style and health inspiration. Having grown up with a passion for fashion, Lydia decided to create her own place to share her style. Soon after, she took a turn in her life where she decided to start getting fit and was amazed at the changes it made to her body. Lydia decided to introduce exercise to the site and her blog was complete. We sat down with the blogger to discuss the best food for workouts, her current favourite trend and where she gets her best fashion steals...
Firstly, what made you decide to start your blog?
I always get asked this and I really wish I had some amazing story to answer with, but basically I couldn't continue to put my family and friends on Facebook through my incessant fashion posts. So I decided to put it all into a little place where they could go if they wanted to. It also provided great procrastination during my dissertation.
What made you decide to focus on both fashion and fitness?
My blog started out as just fashion, it's funny because I used to look at other bloggers and think how confident they must be but I'm sure people looked at me in that way too. The truth is I was painfully unhappy with my body and was being extremely unkind to it in the process. When I met my partner (an avid gym goer) he showed me what it was to feel comfortable in your skin by working towards the body you want through good nutrition and exercise. Once I started seeing results was when I reached the point of no return. That's what I always tell people, go as hard as you can for four to six weeks, after that you will start to see changes and then it stops being a effort and becomes part of your life. I was apprehensive about introducing the subject to lydiaelisemillen.com and it took some weeks of deliberating but once I started posting to Instagram and other social media platforms, my followers kind of made my mind up for me.
What’s your favourite aspect of blogging and are there any downsides?
I love the creativity and learning I have experienced through blogging whether it’s writing, photography or editing I always feel like I'm learning something new. I also get to work alongside some amazing and iconic brands, which never fails to excite me. There are downsides to everything but the moment you give them the limelight they win, so I prefer not to even go into them.
How do you balance blogging with other interests or jobs? Do you ever go offline?
Oh gawd! It's so embarrassing but actually I don't - my iPhone, iPad or computer are never far away. But I'm all over the place all the time so it means I get to stay connected to people that I'm not always able to be with and also connect with new people I wouldn't have had the pleasure of doing so without.
How do you decide what to feature on your blog?
That's an easy one, it's usually the simple question of whether the feature would be beneficial to my readers. But as with most blogs I do sometimes get offered the opportunity to feature gifted or sponsored items, these are only ever featured if I would spend my own money on them away from blogging. It's really important to me that my blog remains a place where people can go to for sound advice or reviews so I strive really hard to maintain that.
What is your favourite kind of workout?
Oh it's definitely the one in front of the TV with a tub of peanut butter and a spoon but I suspect that's not what you mean. But seriously, I - like the rest of the universe - hate endurance cardio. A minute on the treadmill has got to be the longest minute ever so I like finding ways to get my heart rate up that are a little bit more exciting. Right now, I'm loving boxing and nothing makes you feel more badass than beating the crap out of something in the gym.
You have a Bodyluxe Nutrition Guide E-Book, how did that happen?
Bodyluxe is my nutrition guide that I released about a month ago. When I started sharing my fitness posts on my blog and social media, it became more and more apparent from the endless e-mails I was getting from girls across the globe, that there was a distinct lack of affordable information regarding dieting for women who were looking to exercise and maintain a toned feminine physique. This really hit home for me because I, like so many other girls, thought I had to torture myself by drastically cutting my food intake to stay slim. In reality, it was all down to a lack of education so I worked alongside a top Personal Trainer and Nutritionist (the guy responsible for my own results) to put together my ebook so that this information was readily available for download.
What is your favourite pre-workout and post-workout meal?
I don't usually eat before I train but my pre-workout drink of choice is always a strong black coffee. Coffee is said to dull pain receptors, improve alertness and increase your metabolic rate, which is great when you're gearing up to hit the gym but it's also packed full of antioxidants and nutrients which benefit overall health.
I always have a post workout protein shake as I leave the gym which is kind of like my "well done, you for smashing that gym sesh" as they taste so good and they help repair muscle fibers and promote recovery, which is essential when you're hitting the gym on a regular basis.
What words of encouragement would you give to somebody who is considering getting fit?
Find what ignites your motivation and run with it. Lots of people say to me "I wish I had your motivation" and I truly believe that everyone does have it. It’s just a case of finding what brings it to light and then using it to push you past those first few weeks of training. Once you make it past that point, it usually becomes part of your lifestyle.
What advice would you give to our readers to get the best out of their workouts?
You can't out train a bad diet. That really is one of my favourite sayings and it’s true. You aren't going to see the results you want without adequate nutrition so it pays to do your research via blogs or online literature, or speaking to a professional about your goals.
You also include some incredible outfits on your blog. What’s your favourite fashion trend at the moment?
I'm not sure if it's a trend as such but there's some seriously ugly yet comfortable footwear lurking around at the moment and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's never pretty trying to hobble in heels after a leg [workout] day so the fact that Birkenstocks and plimsolls are back really does make me a happy camper.
The pastel colour palette keeps catching my eye too, so I'm starting to make a conscious effort to introduce some to my extremely monochrome wardrobe, but we shall see how that pans out.
When do you feel most comfortable? Are you a dress and heels or sweats and trainers kind of girl?
I guess it depends on the situation. On a day-to-day basis, it’s leggings and kicks but I wouldn't feel comfortable heading to a nice restaurant or bar in them, no matter how food-baby-friendly those leggings may be. And every girl loves getting dressed up and donning a pair of sky high heels and killer lipstick.
Where do you find your best fashion steals?
Ebay! I could spend hours trawling that site. If ever you see something online or in a store I can bet you will find a cheaper seller on Ebay.
You have gorgeous hair! Could you possibly talk us through your haircare routine?
It's really nothing too glamorous to be honest, I have two parents who possess some serious heads of hair and I am the result (I was born with a full on head of the stuff). I love the Elixur Ultime range from Kerastase as it leaves my hair like silk and I dye it myself at home, but I think the key factor is the fact that I don't actually get my hair cut. Like, ever. I kind of believe that this whole "trimming your hair” business is a bit of a ploy from hairdressers to promote repeat business so I'm pushing eight years without so much as looking at a pair of scissors.
How do you feel about the reception that your blog has received?
To be honest I still can't believe I'm sat here three years after starting my blog being interviewed about it. I never imagined it would amount to anything and with every day and every comment, follower and opportunity, I'm left astounded by my little place on the world wide web that I have created.
What do you hope people will gain from your blog?
If anything, they will learn from my mistakes - be it a terrible outfit post from way back when or how not to treat your body.
Do you follow any other blogs?
I do but not many as I tend to follow a few but religiously! My all time favourite fashion blogger is Audrey from BeFrassy and my go to fitness blogger is Carly Rowena . Those girls make for great inspiration.
What would be your advice to aspiring bloggers? Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to turn back time?
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in all the land but you will still find people who don't like peaches. So basically, stick at what you love and don't try to keep everyone happy.
If you could invite anyone dead or alive to guest blog on your site who would it be?
I'd really love a guest blog by all my old school teachers, I'd love to hear their thoughts on what they think I did with my life. That would be an interesting read… Well for me anyway!
What does the future hold for your blog? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?
I recently went to the Bodypower Expo in Birmingham with my Sponsors PhD Woman, which was really exciting for me and I can't wait to share the experience on my blog. I'm also planning a big redesign of my blog over the upcoming weeks (it currently has a temporary layout) to make it more functional and interactive. And hopefully, we have some exercise e-books planned, so watch this space!